Extremely popular with tourists and locals alike, Stratford upon- Avon’s markets have become a weekend hotspot. With over 40 traders selling a range of products from food to clothing, thousands of visitors arrive each month to explore what’s on offer. Operated by Groupe Geraud, the market is renowned for its sense of community and lively traders.
MIKE RILEY – BLUEBELL COTTAGE
Mike has been trading for over a decade, originally selling a variety of sweet products, but it’s the family’s homemade fudge that proved to be the biggest hit.
“We get a great range of customers each market day and it’s great when we find out more about them. We have a world map on the stall and ask customers to put a sticker on their home country, along with a message.
“Some come regularly each year from countries as far as Australia and Africa but we also have plenty of regular customers from the local area who pick up a treat on their way passed each day.”
PAUL FISHER – INTI
Paul sells clothing that is hand-finished by artisans in Peru and Ecuador and one of their most popular ranges is the arpillera children’s clothing, with each product colourfully decorated reflecting the Peruvian lifestyle.
“I trade on the market every week and I wouldn’t go back to owning a shop now, things have changed and I really enjoy the atmosphere here on a weekend. The community in Stratford is great and I have a strong base of regular customers, as well as attracting the tourists who visit the town.”
PETE BURTON – LADIES FASHION
Pete has been selling fashion on street markets for 35 years and knows his audience well.
“Men will say proudly: ‘I’ve had this coat for four years and I’m still getting wear out if it. ‘Ladies will say, ‘have you got anything new?’ “I only work this market now and I’ve never missed a day, despite the weather. My advice is if you are going to moan about the weather, don’t do markets.”
CHRIS GRIFFITHS – THE SHOE BOX
Chris has worked on markets for 29 years and has been trading at Stratfordupon- Avon for a decade – solely selling shoes.
“The market really is a great place to work, I love the community and enjoy working with the market team. The tourists to the town seem to love the boots, wellingtons and sandals I stock – they always sell out. Most of my customers are local though; they know where I am and know my product and they pop over to buy something new and have a chat.”
JON BUTCHER – SIRIUS SILVER JEWELLERY
Jon sells all kinds of silver jewellery, with beautiful stones and intricate pieces sourced from all over the world
“We currently have products on sale from India, Indonesia, Mexico, all over. It really sparks people’s interest; it catches their eye and always goes down well with international tourists.
“People come back to us as we offer modifications and make pieces of handmade jewellery. Customers will come to buy gifts for loved ones and often ask for a personal twist, which we’re always happy to do.”
CHRIS HOWARD – MONSOON ESTATES
Chris sells coffee beans from central South America, Africa and Asia and offers 10 different blends at the market and to coffee shops.
“We don’t do retail apart from this market so it’s our face to the world. It’s like continuous market research, we are trying different coffees all the time and when people come back and say they like it, it gives us confidence to sell it to our retail customers.”